Freedom Box Needs a Good User Interface

Eben Moglen, a professor at Columbia Law School, is working to propagate a matchbox-sized device in homes around the world that will serve as a private and independent route to the Internet, free from prying eyes, Internet kill switches, and the whims of private conglomerates like Facebook.

The technology already exists to make this happen, he says; the problem will be in making it simple enough for ordinary people to get the most out of the product.

The device, which he has dubbed the Freedom Box, will be a combination data storage device, wireless Internet router and communications platform–all of it encrypted, so that only its owner and authorized recipients could read the data it contained or transmitted. Users will typically plug it into a simple wall socket, but it could also run on two double-A sized batteries, meaning it could be used even during a blackout.

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